Friday, November 4, 2011

Flawed Health Care: Lack of PCPs & New Online Medical Database

The most frustrating thing about health care today is that even if you do have health care, there is not enough Primary Care Physicians. When I moved to Upstate, New York getting a Primary Care Physician was next to impossible not to mention a specialist. I am not sure how health care is for other insurance holders, that is if you are lucky enough to be covered under an insurance at all. But, even if you do have insurance there is a wait list for everything. One deals with either being put on a 6 month wait list or being denied because the Physician is no longer taking new patients.

If you have a diagnosis and you need medication, one has to resort to waiting in the emergency room for hours and hours just to get a prescription refill. Recently, I had to do the whole "emergency room bit" just to get a prescription refill. Because some doctors have policies, they require a PCP to sign off on a referral in order to be seen. But, with a 6-month wait list for a Primary Care Physician, by the time one actually gets around to seeing the specialist that they need to see, it's practically a year later! Tri-Care which is the insurance for military people and their family tends to be a nightmarish situation of having supposedly great health care benefits, those of which some civilians envy. But, what most people do not realize is that the chances of being seen by a doctor in areas where there is a shortage of Primary Care Physicians is next to impossible. Who can wait 6 or even 9 months for medication that one is prescribed and one needs to take every day?!?! There has got to be a better solution for this.

My last ER visit (to just get simple prescription medication I must take daily in addition to a simple referral to finally get seen) was quite strange. I was put in a data base with my consent of course, in order to have my medical records accessible anywhere, in any city and in any hospital nation wide. One might question the ethics behind medical records being this accessible and how easy computer systems and data bases can be hacked in to. But, if you are someone such as myself that travels frequently and needs their medical records available readily, it feels like a new sense of freedom. Strange, how sharing more of your information- especially one such as medical records is becoming more and more the standard. For those of us that have disabilities and or need to take medication on a regular basis. To function in a learning environment or a work environment, medical records need to be accessible in order to provide proof. Having updated online medical record data bases can definitely feel like an invasion of privacy. But for someone that needs medical treatment on a regular basis and a hospital nearby, it is an equally necessary tool in today's world where we need information quickly and accessibly.

Soon, we may even restore the "VeriChip" which was discontinued in 2010. It was also called "VeriMed." It was made up of a 16 digit number and transmitted as it was scanned. 80 hospitals and 232 doctor's agreed to this having medical records accessible via an imbedded micro-chip. And although it was discontinued in 2010, it may come back new and improved. Who knows? As of now, I am awaiting my own medical records to be mailed old-school from Colorado where I once lived. Having a copy of our medical records are always an important thing to have. But soon, my medical records will be updated over the web and available anywhere, nationwide. This is both good and bad depending upon whom utilizes such a powerful tool. And soon, people like me will not have to wait a week or more for medical records to be mailed to us. It will all be available via the internet, as it already is I am sure.


Microchip implant (human)

Good Related Articles: 

Ethical Issues of Medical Records on the Internet

The Future of primary care in an ACO model